Water Resources Department Records Guide
Agency History - Chronology of Events
1894 U.S. Congress passed Carey Act.
1899 State Land Board created.
1901 Oregon accepted provisions of Carey Act.
1905 Office of State Engineer created.
1907 Administration of reclamation of desert land moved from the State Land Board to the State Engineer.
1909 Desert Land Board created to administer reclamation laws. Board of Control created. Office of State Water Superintendent (two positions) created for two water districts.
All water within Oregon declared to belong to the public. Water code passed.
1913 Board of Control name changed to State Water Board.
1917 Irrigation and Drainage Securities Commission created. Irrigation drainage districts organized.
1923 State Water Board and Office of State Water Superintendent abolished; duties transferred to state engineer.
1927 State Reclamation Commission created to oversee irrigation and drainage districts. Desert Land Board and Irrigation and Drainage Securities Commission abolished; duties transferred to Reclamation Commission.
1931 Hydroelectric Commission created to manage power plants.
1935 Committee formed to study navigation, irrigation, and flood control in the Willamette River Basin.
1939 Willamette River Basin Commission established.
1947 State Irrigation Board established to create water conservation districts. Membership of board is same as State Hydroelectric Commission.
1951 Upper Columbia River Basin Commission established.
1953-1955 Water Resources Committee functioned.
1955 Water Resources Board created. Irrigation Board, Reclamation Commission, Willamette River Basin Commission, and Upper Columbia River Basin Commission abolished.
Water Appropriations Act passed.
1961 Hydroelectric Commission duties transferred to state engineer.
1975 Water Resources Department created. Water Resources Board and Office of State Engineer merged to form Water Resources Department. Duties transferred to newly created office of Director. Water Policy Review Board created to supervise Water Resources Department; Water Resources Board abolished.
1985 Water Policy Review Board abolished; Water Resources Commission created.
1993 Watershed Management program established to coordinate activities of other state, interstate and federal agencies, local governments, local watershed councils, nonprofit organizations, and volunteer groups.
1997 The Water Resources Department cooperates with other agencies in the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds.